An offshore conversation: Real estate CIO says communication is key

With more than 200 agents, 40 staff, and $1 billion plus in real estate sales, McGuire Real Estate is the one of the leading real estate brokers in San Francisco. However, its infrastructure wasn't keeping up with the growing demands of the company. So Vivek Asija, vice president and CIO of McGuire Real Estate, set out to improve the company's systems and save some money in the process. The goal was to conduct a complete revamping of the company's infrastructure and implement an enterprise-wide total broker system called MISSILE (McGuire Information System for Sales, Inventory, Leads and Expenses). The new system would centralize all the back-office operations and automate all the functions on the company's Internet site.

After interviewing a number of U.S. and international vendors, Asija partnered with Mumbai, India-based Tata Consultancy Services to design, develop and implement this new enterprise-wide system. The offshore project kicked off in September 2002 and was completed May 2003. According to Asija, working with an offshore provider saved his company time, money and provided access to world class skills. In this exclusive interview with, Asija tells us about the obstacles of working with an offshore provider, how the experience made his organization more competitive and why offshore outsourcing is more than just the latest IT fad.

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